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Grant's Getaways: Oregon Shipwrecks

by Grant McOmie

Bio | Email | Follow: @KGWNews


Posted on February 28, 2013 at 1:40 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 1 at 4:52 PM

There’s something about treasure hunting that’s irresistible and compelling; especially when it touches Oregon history and offers unique outdoor adventures too.

Rich Mulcahy likes to say, “When the tide goes out, the treasure table is set.”

“I think it’s that I am going after something that’s been lost, and I am digging in the sand to find it. I love to dig stuff.”

Rich walks long lonely stretches of the Oregon coast each day accompanied only by the excited sounds of his hand-held detector; the device is his constant companion.

New evidence sheds light on how the Hunley sank a Union ship

The new evidence suggests the Hunley was less than 20 feet away from its torpedo when it exploded. Remnants of the 2-foot-long torpedo were found bolted to the 16-foot-long spar.

The discovery indicates that the torpedo, which held 135 pounds of gunpowder, did not separate from the spar but instead was placed under the Union ship. It was fired by command, not contact.

"There is overwhelming evidence to indicate this was not a suicide mission," South Carolina Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell, a Hunley commissioner, said in a statement. "They must have believed this was a safe enough distance to escape any harm. If so, they were at least partially right. Thus far, no damage has been found on the actual submarine caused by the explosion."

Because of the Hunley's proximity to the Housatonic and the amount of gunpowder, the concussion from the explosion could have damaged the sub and injured the crew. "Were some or all of them knocked out?" McConnell asked. "How long were they knocked out? Did the submarine's structure with rivets have a similar problem as the Titanic did when it brushed against the iceberg?" He added, "If the rivets give, the pressure of the water could cause leakage."

Scientists will use the new information to create computer simulations of the attack. Scientists also will start peeling away a layer of rock, sand and silt from the sub.

Victory's Civil War drummer boy writes about Bull Run


Low lake levels leave plenty of ground for metal detectors to cover

By Robert Medley | Published: January 20, 2013

On a crisp, sunny day on the west side of Lake Hefner, Larry Dobbs walks on what once was water.

His metal detector makes a long beep followed by several short beeps. He's found something under the soft soil. With a trowel he digs up a 2-ounce lead fishing sinker.

photo - Larry Dobbs uses a metal detector Thursday as he looks for lost items at Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City. Area lakes are very low because of the recent drought.
Larry Dobbs uses a metal detector Thursday as he looks for lost items at Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City. Area lakes are very low because of the recent drought.

On a crisp, sunny day on the west side of Lake Hefner, Larry Dobbs walks on what once was water.

His metal detector makes a long beep followed by several short beeps. He's found something under the soft soil. With a trowel he digs up a 2-ounce lead fishing sinker.

Nearby, Dan Pierce is slowly swinging his metal detector back and forth.

“I've got money,” Pierce said. He digs up a copper penny. It's the start of this day's hunt.

Treasure hunters in Oklahoma have found more ground to cover because of extended drought. On dry lakeshores, where the water used to be, metal detectors are finding collectible items

Click more to see video

Civil War artifacts

By Anita Stienstra


This week the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library opened its third installment of the Boys in Blue Civil War exhibit. Featured is the Battle of Vicksburg, Emancipation Proclamation, Civil War prisons and prisoners, immigrant and Jewish Union soldiers and Gen. U.S. Grant. Artifacts from the library’s collections and other objects on display include such items as an oversized broadside of Gen. Grant in the atrium, seven-foot-tall reproductions of Union soldiers, framed letters, photos and documents, spurs, tourniquet and medical kit and a Confederate jacket loaned to a Springfield soldier while imprisoned during the war.

Boys in Blue: When Will This Cruel War Be Over?
Jan. 15-March 2014, Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library
112 N. Sixth Street

12 Pound Gold Nugget Found With Metal Detector

Metal detectors typically find old bottle caps, pins and discarded pennies. But every once in a while they come across something of incredible value. A prospector in Ballarat, Australia unearthed a 12 pound gold nugget this week that could be worth more than $300,000.

The identity of the prospector and the exact location of his lucrative find aren’t known at the moment but according to The Courier the 12 pound gold nugget was brought into the Ballarat Mining Exchange Gold Shop to be evaluated.

Cordell Kent, the store owner, provided a few details into the find. According to Kent, the gold nugget was found within 20 miles of downtown Ballarat. It was found about 60 centimeters below the surface by a prospector using a aMinelab GPX-5000 detector worth more than $600.

Kent said that the person who discovered the 12-pound gold nugget could melt it down and sell it at market value for about $300,000. The finder could also decide to auction off the entire gold nugget which could bring in significantly more money.

Kent said:

“If you are silly enough to melt it down, it would be worth just under $300,000 on market value but as a nugget at this size and shape, it’s worth significantly more than thatI can’t remember a nugget this big ever being found locally.”

"Diggers" TV show strikes nerve

March 15, 2012 12:05 amBRETT FRENCH french@billingsgazette.com

Montana's state archaeologist said a Montana duo of metal detector artifact hunters featured in a new National Geographic television program appear to have violated state law.

He isn't the only one upset by the content of the show "Diggers," which featured Anaconda-area residents Tim Saylor and George Wyant. The show has also become the focus of Facebook petitions and write-in campaigns to the channel criticizing the show's content.

The first episode of the "Diggers," called "Montana Juice," was filmed at the Old Montana Prison, a state-owned property in Deer Lodge. The show aired on Feb. 28.

State archaeologist Stan Wilmoth said the show's production company, Half Yard Productions of Bethesda, Md., did not request or receive a permit to dig at the site, which is required because the site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Read more:

Discover Historic Metal Detecting Sites!

Finding good sites to metal detect is hard work. Finding them without research is near impossible. In this comprehensive book, we’ll guide you to wonderful resources and show you useful skills to aid you in your quest. Research isn’t easy, often confusing. You will have to work to get excellent results, but if you’ve found this site, you clearly are working to improve your skills.

If you are like me, you want to find good sites to hunt, and rule out crappy ones. Not only will you learn how to find good leads, you will develop skill to throw some of those leads out based on primary and secondary source criteria. You’ll learn how to spot “iffy” sources and recognize author bias. Best of all, you will develop critical thinking skills.

Boy Finds WWII-Era Bomb On First Outing With Metal Detector He Got For Christmas

boy finds wwii bomb

The Huffington Post | By Posted:

Relic hunters unearth history


Area's soil rich with Civil War relics, coins

  • By Anita Houk
  • Memphis Commercial Appeal
  • Posted January 2, 2013 at 3 a.m.

Photo by Anita Houk

The den is where heart is for Lee Henwood: That's where he displays his autographed baseball, unearthed arrowheads and even a cannon ball — he located it with his metal detector.

"My dad and I, years ago we started arrowhead hunting," says Henwood. "He was a small-town doctor in Oklahoma and people would invite him out in their fields and he'd take me along.

"I got interested in the Civil War when I was in the Navy in Virginia, and always thought I would to start (using a metal detector) but I didn't have time. Then I retired from the Navy and came back here."

Henwood joined the Navy after he'd graduated from then-Southwestern at Memphis in 1976 (now Rhodes College), worked on Mississippi River towboats for several years and earned a master's at the American Graduate School of International Management in Phoenix (Ariz.).

Now 58, he lives with his family in Germantown, works in Memphis as inventory manager at Barnhart Crane & Rigging and hunts for Civil War relics anywhere and anytime he can.


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